Step ZERO with Dermalogica Precleanse Balm

Dermalogica as a brand has been part of my skincare routine since the age of time (yeah, I feel that old today). They are incredibly popular amongst consumers back home in Sweden; constantly earning rewards for their innovative products. For me, I like to endorse the brand out of the simple reasons that it works well for my sensitive skin, they have a strong and clear leadership with focus on education, something I feel often is lacking in the beauty industry today and the products are reasonably priced for what you’ll get. The fact that they also support Female Entrepreneurship and small business development is just sweet icing on top of the cake!

Now, Dermalogica are clearly gearing up by promising us no less than four new product launches per year.

This makes me nervous.

As someone who wants to tell you about them all, I guess that from now on, you’ll be spammed by my Dermalogica articles. Be aware!

Truthfully, I’m also a bit nervous that the excellent quality of the brand will decline with the fast pace of new product launches. As we all know, it takes time to develop great products but so far, the brand just continue to impress me!

For years and years I’ve been using Dermalogica Precleanse Oil; there’s really not much to say about it other than it’s a Top Seller for all the right reasons. It gets the job done. Therefore, when I learned that the brand was branching out with a second precleanse product, my interest peaked. Why would we need a second one? I’ll tell you why!

By Introducing the Precleanse Balm, Dermalogica is now focusing on educating us about the benefits of double-cleansing. If you’re a skincare junkie like I am, the concept of double-cleanse is nothing new. Basically, there’s really no need to invest in expensive skincare treatment products to be applied on a dirty face! Cleansing and exfoliating is where it all starts and ends, if you don’t do it properly then your skin will suffer and all other products will be less efficient.

Up until now I’ve always tripple-cleansed! I’ve used a micellar water to remove my mascara as step one, followed by an oil or a balm cleanser for heavy duty and then as step three added a cream- or milk cleanser to finish off the job. It might sound like too much work but really, it takes effort to wash of the day.

Dermalogica now introduces the Precleanse Balm as Step ZERO in their version of a double-cleanse routine. Unlike all other cleansing balms I own, this one comes in a tube which makes the solid product perfect for travelling and very easy and hygienic to dispense.

The new thick balm, a balm-to-oil emulsifyer starts out as your regular balm but transform into an oil once it is water activated.

It is most important that you apply the balm onto dry skin using dry hands. Any liquid will make the product emulsify too soon and prevent it from doing its work. The balm is built up of Natural Biolipid Complex which means it combines Phospholipids, Glycolipids, Glycin/Soja Oil and Glycin/Soja Sterols to effectively melt down dirt, makeup, waterproof mascara, pollution, sunscreen, sweat and excess sebum and with an easy “oil molecule-bonds-to oil-molecules” technology allow the product to lift all of the above off from your skin as the product is massaged in using the joining Cleansing Rubber Mitt. 

By massaging the dry balm in circular motions all over your face and neck, using the mitt, you’ll gain blood circulation, a gentle exfoliation and start to melt down the product. Then, with applying a small amount of water with your hands, the balm changes its form into a liquid oil cleanser! Filled with Apricot Kernel Oil you’ll experience a first step cleansing that nourishes and sooth the skin while restoring some of its moisture balance. Normally I claim that some cleansers are too advanced for their own good, as they seldom stay on our skin long enough to really make an impact. With the Precleanse Balm that’s not the case. I massage it a good three minutes before adding water and then start the normal cleansing routine of washing all the grime away. It gives the skin plenty of time to soak up the ingredients as it dissolves all impurities.

The handy (!) little mitt that comes with the product is yet another smart “tool” made by the brand. It allows for a gentle and ergonomic exfoliation and it keeps my bare hands and nails away from the skin (where there can be bacterias lurking). I truly enjoy the massaging sensation of the mitt and wish I had two of them; one for each hand! It is easy to keep clean and folds smoothy around the tube of product to fit in my vanity bag.

All Dermalogica products are developed with great care and the Precleanse Balm pride itself of being gluten- and paraben free, vegan, cruelty-free and of course without any artificial fragrances or colours. Still, the texture and scent is amazing due to all the orange- grapefruit and mandarin-peel oil in it! It do contain some lavender oil but my super sensitive skin doesn’t seem to notice it. Made to restore the skin’s barrier function and decrease water-loss, it is simply one of the best cleansing balms I’ve ever encountered. I can’t say it in any other way and I’ve already went out and bought myself a backup tube.

If we are discussing a double-cleanse routine, and the balm represents step ZERO, then its only fair to mention that Dermalogica have a large range of different cleansing products in all various textures so naturally, their recommendation for step ONE is to proceed with a cleanser prescribed from their product line by one of their trained facialists. You can visit any Dermalogica branch all over the world for a free skincare consultation to get your skin analyzed and matched with suitable products. For my sensitive skin, the brand recommended me to use their Ultracalming Cleanser to follow the balm. This is a gel-cream cleanser with a rich foam filled with Oatmeal Kernel extract and soothing ingredients as cucumber and raspberry. It calms any flareups, makes the itchiness and redness disappear while strengthen the skin. I like it well enough although I usually prefer a milk or something richer as my second cleanser. The best part of using this cleanser though is that if you are like me and try to avoid applying too much water on your skin (due to the pH-balance) the Ultracalming Cleanser “rinses off” easily by using the damp Dermalogica sponge cloth, a fantastic little gadget one should always have in the bathroom! I even made sure my mother has one at hand for smooth, safe and clinical removal of any cleanser and dirt residue. It makes it so much easier to remove your second cleanser, to track any makeup left on the skin and to wipe off your neck and decolletage without pulling and stretching the skin.

All in all: call it what you like. Double-cleanse, step ZERO, tripple-cleanse: I don’t care as long as you DO it. I encourage you to try the Precleanse Balm out as it has received only stellar reviews globally. It is a beautiful and easy-to-use product. Fingers crossed that Dermalogica keep their momentum up! ♥


Product provided for review consideration 
  1. I saw your Instagram post and I had to come over and read everything about this new product from Dermalogica. Just like you, I use micellar water, then an oil based cleanser, then a water soluble cleanser. My understanding is that this product replaces our second step. What about the eye area? Does it remove eye makeup efficiently and without tears?
    Hugs, wishing you a relaxing week. 🙂

    1. Hi Babe, well I’d say both yes and no. Yes – it’s one of the few cleansers I own that doesn’t sting my very sensitive eyes. It is gentle that way. On the other hand no, It won’t take away the waterproof eyeliner in my water-line. I have to go back in with a bit of micellar water for that. But everything else, including thick concealer is not a problem for the cleanser! xx, M

  2. I love the pre-cleanse method. And I’m on some sort of quadruple cleanse thing. Eye makeup first using eye makeup remover. Then I use a cleansing balm or oil (such as this one from Dermalogica) and then micellar water. And then a moisturizing cleanser. OMG. I know- I’m crazy.

    1. Hahahaha I LOVE IT! Seriously, its very rewarding to cleanse properly and I think of it as a nice, calming routine. I think we are both equally crazy 😉 xx M

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